Above Towneley (Walk 5) a mosaic of new Forest of Burnley and remnant woodland extends up through Burnley Golf Club and the surrounding pasture to the moorland around Crown Point and Dunnockshaw. Kestrel, skylark and curlew can be seen overhead at the right times while Clowbridge Reservoir provides an ideal habitat for waterfowl.
Our thanks to Kim Coverdale, from Lancashire Wildlife Trust, who wrote the original text. This leaflet was written and compiled by Keith Wilson (Forest of Burnley), Jacqueline Whitaker (Burnley Tourism) and Amanda Urmston (Burnley Tourism) of Burnley Council.
Below the Hameldon moorlands, Castle Clough near Hapton provides a vestige of semi-natural woodland in a sandstone gorge with oak, birch and rowan in addition to introduced sycamore and beech. The damp shade of the wooded cliffs provides habitat for the rare lady, male and broad buckler ferns, and here the stream is less acidic than many in this part of the Pennines, and so the lime loving plant brooklime thrives in the running water.
The River Calder has made good progress in recent years with abundant brown trout, summer sand martins, resident herons and even rumours of returning otter. By the culvert over the River Calder near Burnley Town Hall, dipper and grey wagtail can be seen searching for insects in the improving water, and nearby an exotic fig tree has been growing by the canal near Sandygate Bridge.
Burnley Tourist Information Centre Croft Street, Burnley BB11 2EF Tel. 01282 664421 For the latest information about the Burnley Way visit www.visitburnley.com
Disclaimer Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this leaflet is correct, Burnley Council cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions that may have occurred.
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Beyond Padiham, (Walk 6) the Grove Lane area has varied wildlife with roe deer, nuthatch and woodpecker around the woodland, wintering snipe in the wet land and brown hare, curlew and lapwing in the big fields which were once used for open cast coalmining. The Great Grey Shrike has been a rare recent visitor to the Forest of Burnley plantings at the private Hollins Farm, where this bandit masked 'butcher bird' perches on top of the hawthorn in the valley.
Produced by Burnley Council
Wonderful Wildlife As you walk along the Burnley Way, through woodland, across the moors, by river or canal, you will find a variety of fascinating wildlife at every turn. The Leeds and Liverpool Canal provides an important wildlife corridor through Burnley with fine views from the ‘Straight Mile’ of the surrounding moorland and fringes of Forest of Burnley woodland. Brown hawker dragonflies and damselflies make their home in sheltered corners along the canal while native birds like coot, moorhen, heron and kingfisher can be seen together with strange coloured cross bred ducks. Arrowhead and water crowfoot are water plants that shelter fish like pike, carp and roach – occasionally glimpsed by the sharp eyed. As you follow the Burnley Way (Walk 1) out of town you will come across broadleaved plantation woods at Bank Hall, Netherwood, Rowley and Scroggs Wood, which provide interesting habitats for a variety of flora and fauna. Woodland edges and the banks of the River Brun provide herb rich grassland with different sedges and rushes, and ladysmock, mayflower or cuckooflower flourish in wet areas in May. The goit and ponds provide an excellent habitat for amphibians like toads, frogs and newts and at the Michelin fishing lodge carp can be seen cruising among the lily pads in summer. Wooded prior to 1600, Houghton Hagg is one of only six ancient semi-natural woodlands left in Burnley; here bluebell and wood sorrel give a good show in spring with marsh marigold and meadow sweet appearing later in the wetter areas. Further up across the stream the Forest of Burnley plantation, on private land below Hurstwell, has orchids and scabious on the open bankings later in summer. Roe deer, sparrow hawk and great spotted woodpecker may be glimpsed anywhere in this wooded valley by the quiet or lucky observer.
Park Wood and New Plantation in the Thursden Valley (Walk 2) have a mixture of coniferous – larch and Scots pine and broadleaved trees – introduced beech and sycamore with native oak, birch, rowan, ash and hazel. The Forest of Burnley fencing at Park Wood has allowed extensive areas of heather and bilberry to regenerate and the lime rich flushes and old hushings provide habitat for rarer plants like quaking-grass and the grass-of-Parnassus. The wild moorland of the South Pennines is very varied, from blanket bogs with sphagnum moss and cotton grass to drier hummocks of peat and rock with heather, bilberry and crowberry. Bracken is also spreading on drier fertile slopes. Black Hameldon and Worsthorne Moor have populations of summer visiting birds like curlew, golden plover, skylark, twite and merlin for which the South Pennines are now a European designated Special Protection Area. Further along the Burnley Way the limestone glacial deposits and old hushings around Shedden (Walk 3) have led to old records of rare plant species. More recently the spectacular shorteared owl has been seen hunting low for voles on winter afternoons among the Forest of Burnley native woodland plantings on United Utilities land.
Across the Cliviger Valley, Heald Moor (Walk 4) with its rounded peatland provides a contrast to the crags of Thieveley Scout. Around here ravens and peregrine falcons have started nesting again over recent years. May and June are good for the white whispy heads of harestail and common cotton grass on the high peat. Cranberry can be found winding its way around purple moor grass tussocks, while overhead meadow pipit and skylark brighten the bleak lansdscape with their early summer song. Below through the Forest of Burnley plantings between Dodbottom and Buckley Woods look out for red and fallow deer, escapees that add their presence to that of the native roe deer. The woodlands at Towneley Park have fine shows of bluebell, wild garlic and wood anenome in spring. Some trees are up to 200 years old with an ancient pollarded oak in a nearby farm field estimated to be over 400 years of age. Woodpecker, nuthatch and alien grey squirrel thrive, the latter being fed by the public. Over ten thousand native trees have been planted by the Forest of Burnley to replenish and extend the woodlands. Speckled Wood butterflies can be found now in numbers in this area.